Thursday, 6 February 2014

Featured Author: Myra Duffy

I’m delighted to welcome friend and fellow Scottish author, Myra Duffy, to the Reading and Writing blog today. I love Myra’s cosy crime novels which are set on the Isle of Bute, the venue of my childhood summer holidays. Although I enjoy many good crime novels, it’s the mystery element that most attracts me and Myra’s books have not disappointed in this respect. Her fans are very pleased that her new novel, Endgame at Port Bannatyne, is now available! Thanks for sharing the inspiration behind the series and this latest story, Myra.

Endgame at Port Bannatyne

Endgame at Port Bannatyne is the fourth in Myra Duffy’s series of cosy crime mysteries set on the Isle of Bute, just off the west coast of Scotland. All four books feature the same main character, Alison Cameron, a very ordinary woman who finds herself involved in crime in spite of vowing, ‘this time it will be different.’

In this latest novel, Alison is offered a job as assistant scriptwriter with Pelias Productions. The company is on the island making a film about one of the most famous sons of Bute, James Hamilton, and has based itself in the sleepy village of Port Bannatyne.
It’s not long before Alison has cause to regret her decision. Two of the cast members, Franklin Todd and Quentin Quizling, are at war; the actress playing James Hamilton’s wife has something to hide; the Director, Sol, is tetchy and secretive. Then a suspicious death and an on-set accident throw the production into disarray.

Alison’s personal life is also in turmoil: her relationship with her husband, Simon is fraught and the company of Robert, an old friend from the past, only complicates matters further.
Inspiration Behind the Series and Story

For many years we’ve had strong connections to Bute and when I wrote my first cosy crime novel it seemed an ideal setting. It’s a very peaceful island, with little crime, not at all the sort of place where you’d expect the sort of thing that happens in my novels. But the fact that it is small with a limited population of some 6000 (except in summer when visitor numbers swell the population) provides lots of writing opportunities for small town gossip and intrigue and ways in which incomers can upset the balance.
In Endgame at Port Bannatyne, the story of James Hamilton was such an interesting one, it seemed exactly the kind of basis for a film by a company like Pelias Productions.

James was an Edinburgh lawyer who bought Kames Castle but unfortunately he had a profligate wife, Harriet, who preferred the society of her friends in the capital and quickly ran through his money. Bills of sale from the castle records show he was reduced to selling the bedroom furniture to pay his debts while Harriet was having her portrait painted by Raeburn. Her picture hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.
He is buried (alone!) in an overgrown spot on the road to Ettrick Bay and rumour has it that he’s buried standing up so that on Resurrection Day as he rises from the grave the first thing he will see is his beloved Kames Castle and Kames Bay. But no one as yet has investigated the truth of this.

Of course, this being a crime novel, nothing and no one is as they seem and Alison finds herself in danger as she stubbornly tries to find out the truth about what is happening.

Great idea, Myra - all the best with this new book!
The Isle of Bute mystery novels are available in print and e-book on Amazon UK, Amazon US and at selected bookshops. Endgame at Port Bannatyne is also available in print from FeedARead.

Although Myra is a well published author of non-fiction, she's been writing fiction for as long as she can remember (winning a national competition when she was thirteen), but has recently turned to a life of crime. A writing life, she hastens to add.

For many years she's been a frequent visitor to the Isle of Bute, just off the West coast of Scotland - a firm favourite with visitors from Glasgow. Holidays in the island inspired her to write the first Bute novel: 'The House at Ettrick Bay' (an archaeological mystery) and this was followed by 'Last Ferry to Bute' (dark deeds during a college reunion) and 'Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion' (past events cast a long shadow as the Pavilion is refurbished).

 
Myra has been published in various magazines such as 'My Weekly' and in the 'Ireland's Own' anthology and has also won a number of awards for short stories, poetry and non-fiction, but novel writing is what she enjoys most.

You can find out more about Myra Duffy's writing on her website, or blog and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@duffy_myra).

25 comments:

myraduffy said...

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog,Rosemary.

Raven McAllan said...

I now have this marked out as my next to buy, holiday read. It sounds just my thing.
A great blog, thanks for sharing.

Bill Kirton said...

I love the idea of murder investigators finding a corpse buried in an upright position. I know that's not (necessarily) what you're suggesting here, Myra, but it would be a great twist. Good luck with the new novel (although you won't need it).

Jennifer Young said...

I've read all your Bute mysteries, Myra. I love crime but nothing too gory - yours are terrific.

Joanna said...

This sounds fantastic, Myra. Congratulations - I shall enjoy reading it very much. x

Patsy said...

Setting the story in an area you know and like seems very sensible.

myraduffy said...

Thank you for all the kind comments!

Wendy's Writing said...

I am in awe of anyone who can write crime of any sort. Thanks for sharing with us.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great to have you here, Myra!

It's very good, Raven!

I love that idea too, Bill!

I like the cosier crime too, Jennifer!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for commenting, Joanna!

Absolutely, Patsy!

Thank you for commenting, Wendy!

myraduffy said...

Thank you for following this up, Raven.
And I did very much enjoy researching the background for this one,Bill.
I'm so pleased you enjoy the Isle of Bute mysteries,Jennifer.Lots of luck with your own book - it's all very exciting.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Joanna - I know how busy everyone is.

myraduffy said...

I love the Isle of Bute, Patsy - and writing about it is a good excuse for going there!

myraduffy said...

Thank you,Wendy - I must say there's nothing too gory about the crimes in my books!

Mary Smith said...

Thanks Rosemary and Myra for an interesting post. Looking forward to reading about how Alison finds herself yet again having to solve a murder. She's some woman!

Joan Fleming said...

The Myra Duffy fan club has been waiting impatiently for this latest Bute mystery. They'll discover it's been well worth waiting for. Thanks Myra and Rosemary for a really interesting interview.

myraduffy said...

Thank you,Mary -yes, I sometimes feel Alison should take the hint and not return to Bute!

myraduffy said...

Thank you,Joan, especially for the help you gave me!

Vikki said...

Sounds fascinating, Myra! I still have your books on my kindle waiting to be read - this has reminded me to get stuck in! x

myraduffy said...

Thanks,Vikki -but you've been pretty busy (and successful) yourself!

Gwen Kirkwood said...

The research is a story in itself, Myra and this has made a really interesting blog, Rosemary so thank you both. The only problem is it makes me want to read The Endgame right NOW! I shall get to it though eventually.

Rena George said...

Thank you for hosting this post, Rosemary, and for introducing us to Myra. I love reading, and writing, crime fiction. The lovely Isle of Bute brings back so many happy memories of all those trips 'doon the watter' for holidays of my childhood.
I'm looking forward to reading your books, Myra. Rx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for dropping by with your support, Mary, Joan, Vikki and Gwen!

Hi Rena - I'm sure Myra will be delighted to read your comment. Thank you!

myraduffy said...

Thank you Gwen - I'm impressed at how you keep up given your very busy life!

myraduffy said...

I'm delighted you are a fellow lover of Bute, Rena.Still an enchanting island and I love being there.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks very much for being my guest, Myra, and for interacting so well with everyone!